Last month the The RRS Discovery, the most advanced research ship was launched in Southampton.
At £75 million it is one of the most expensive research ships ever commissioned. It measures at just over 100 metres long, with seven main laboratories and a bridge like the Starship Enterprise! It has just begun expeditions around the British Isles, currently examining the UK’s continental shelf, a band of sea floor around 50m-100m deep.
“These shelves are really very important,” says Dr Sanders from the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton. “There is a lot going on in the shelf seas and we need to understand how they work so we can safeguard their future.”
This weekend the Earth is due to be hit by a pair of solar storms that might affect radio and satellite communication. But how and why does this happen?
What Does Solar Mean?
Anything that is related to a sun is commonly described as being solar. Our sun is a typical medium-sized yellow star which is about 5 billion years old. Its surface temperature is about 5,500°C, but even that isn’t as hot as its superheated centre. Some parts of the sun’s surface are cooler, with a temperature of between 2,700–4,200°C, and these appear darker when viewed through specialised telescopes. These cooler patches are caused by fluctuations in the sun’s magnetism and are called sun spots.
The voting system in the US election often confuses people. What is an Electoral College, and what is the difference between the ‘popular vote’ and the ‘electoral college vote’? Who are the people who work in Congress, and what is the difference between the Senate and the House of Representatives? We take a closer look and answer these and other questions, in a kid-friendly way.